Helen Bates, 74, of Benton, TN passed away Wednesday, June 15, 2016 at the family residence. She retired from Polk County High School as teacher of Social Studies. She was Polk County Teacher of the year and proud of the opportunity to set up the curriculum to teach Bible History. She was a member of First Baptist Chruch in Benton.
She was preceded in death by her parents, Benson and Lela Mae McTaggart Richardson; son and daughter-in-law, Lennis Edward Bates, Jr. and Shani Music Bates.
She is survived by a husband of 55 years, Lennis Edward Bates, Sr.; daughter, Angela Denise Bates Lewis; grandson, Nicholas Aaron Lewis; step-grandson, Scott Lewis; son-in-law, Wendall Lewis; friends, devoted cousins, Alice and Inez, and a special aunt and uncle, S.L. and Grace McTaggart of Memphis, TN.
Prior to graduating from Lee College in 1983, she worked at TN Department of Human Services. She served as Bible Drill Leader for the Polk County Baptist Association as well as church leader for several years. She facilitated Women’s Conferences, the leader for Grief Share, taught Ladies 2 Sunday School Class for approximately 20 years and greeter for Happy Hearts.
Funeral services will be conducted at 6:00 p.m. Saturday, June 18, 2016 at First Baptist Church in Benton, TN with the Dr. Robbie Speights officiating. Interment will follow in Old Ocoee Cemetery with Reverend John Ledford officiating.
The family will receive friends from 4:00 – 6:00 p.m. Saturday, June 18, 2016 at the church prior to the service.
Serving as Pall Bearers are Wendall Lewis, Scott Lewis, Nicholas Lewis, Tracy Rodgers, Mike Goodman and Roy Raines. Honorary Pall Bearers will be the Ladies 2 Sunday School Class.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to First Baptist Church Building Fund, P.O. Box 326, Benton, TN 37307 or American Cancer Society, 6221 Shallowford Road, Chattanooga, TN 37421.
We invite you to send a message of condolence and view the Bates family guestbook at www.higginsfuneral.com.
Higgins Funeral Home of Benton, TN is in charge of the arrangements.